If you’re not feeling productive, that’s totally OK

Jon San
Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

As much of the country stays at home, chances are that some of your friends or family members have some newfound free time. It’s possible they’ve posted about baking bread.

But even if you too have free time, it might feel difficult to undertake learning a new language or instrument, or embarking on that long-gestating screenplay. That is totally OK.

Dr. Shefali Tsabary, a clinical psychologist and author, explains that the coronavirus pandemic can be traumatic for many people. “We may be going through a lot of anxiety as well,” she tells Yahoo Life. “And therefore we may actually feel unproductive, feel uncreative, feel extremely uncertain and scared because we don't know what's happening.”

But that’s not an excuse to turn into a couch potato. It’s important to separate healthy unproductivity from anxiety-fueled unproductivity. 

“When we are saying to ourselves, ‘Right now I can only do these three things today’ and we're consciously choosing it and walking through the anxiety,” Dr. Tsabary says, “then it's a healthy way of being unproductive.”

And sometimes, being productive means redefining the word and thinking smaller.

“Productivity is about taking actions that are authentic every single day,” she says. “And especially during times like this, it's about taking micro steps that make you feel fulfilled and create joy in your life without the pressure of how it looks to the outside world.”

And while some of us have the time to take up new projects and hobbies, there’s many people — essential workers, doctors, nurses, parents and more — who are busier than ever. For them, productivity might seem like a luxury.

For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC’s and WHO’s resource guides.